Beyond the Pale
There is one wise blogging rule imparted to me early on by a kind mentor (she would I am sure not wish to be implicated in this, so I won't blurt out that her blogging name begins with a Z) that I have followed pretty much to the letter.And that is, if you put up a post and no one else says anything, so that the resultant silence is gelid, and you are duly paralyzed with blogger mortification, keep your nerve nonetheless, and let twenty-fours go by before breaking the ice yourself.So now that the prescribed moratorium is coming to an end, perhaps the post should be given a word or two of explanation, to put it out of its misery of appearing to be completely ignored.Of course this appearance would be an illusion, as in truth, far from being universally ignored, the post was actually looked at, in the first few tender hours of its internet life, by more people than had ever viewed any other post on this blog in those infant stages. But all of that was strictly by accident.So, then, for those who don't know what it's about, or don't care, or both: the posts connects two things I like a lot, ginger (the many different names given it by many different historical peoples proves I am hardly its first exponent) and Paul Scholes.Paul Scholes is an ageing ginger lad who has had many great days in the famous red livery of Manchester United but has of late increasingly loitered in the twilight shadows of a career that will last only as long as he remains able to prove himself useful, a matter much debated in recent campaigns (during which the small, scrappy midfielder, now 35, has been often injured and/or ineffective, hinting strongly of a falling-off in his once world-class skills)At any rate a few days ago he received one vote of confidence from the club in the form of a new one-year contract, and another followed yesterday when he was selected in the starting XI for a local derby match against Manchester City, a game on which hung United's slender remaining hopes for a fourth consecutive league title.And lo and behold, in a tense, agonizing match it was Scholes who was his side's most consistent contributor. A scoreless tie lingered on until the dying minutes of extra time. And at that point Scholes struck, racing forward and arching his body through the air in front of goal to receive a lovely cross arrrowed in by teammate Patrice Evra.Despite his diminutive size the scrapper Scholes has always been a threat inside of the box because of his brave knack for heading a football with force, accurately and truly. This time he shaped his body, twisted his neck, struck the ball with a glancing header that flew inside the far post. It was a demonstration out of an instructional manual. And it won the game.Within moments the unlikely hero was swamped by love from his teammates. The kiss on the mouth Scholes is seen to receive from an equally hardened veteran Gary Neville tells that story better than any words could.
Tom,Thanks for this note, itself a model of "volatility / resilience / pungency" . . . .
Time has defeated me this weekend. I've briefly had the chance to visit your page a few times, but due to said time and my nature of thinking what to write in an embarrassingly slow manner, I havn't commented. But for once I am left feeling glad - your comment here is perfect - left me smiling away a sunday night into monday morning. You capture and understand the beautiful game Tom.
'Character'.. such an over-used term in British sporting parlance, but it does describe that 'resilience' which can turn a match. I like the combination here, Tom, the ginger and the snap!I like it too that the best-known Paul Scholes chant is a cheery version of the previously earnest 'Kumbaya' (though it's hardly recognisable in this clip)
Happy to hear others were interested in this, one of the great moments, it rose out of the drear ordinarium much as Scholes rose out of the shadows into the sunlight to make the day memorable to many.Thank you Zeph for the Paul Scholes chant, direct, uncomplicated and to the point, much as the ginger lad himself.For those who missed the moment, there have been posted clips of "The Kiss", and they have disappeared almost as quickly as they have appeared, as though the moment of cameraderie were something shameful.Posted clips of the goal itself are also proving fleeting (Premier League copyright hegemony), but here is one that as of this moment has escaped the dragnet and can still be viewed. It captures the feeling: a bit of Ginger in the air.
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